Initially I thought that writing in this blog would be therapeutic. In the past weeks of my recovery I have learned a few things about myself, that I am grateful for.
I like to be busy to avoid what’s really going on. Like my husband, I can’t believe I’m admitting this, I bury myself in work to feel good. Both of us feel validated to rest only after we have achieved something. Why this is? I’m not too sure. On my side it could mean that I am desperate to escape sitting with myself in the reality of the present.
But I noticed my tendency too avoid has also meant years of not doing the very thing I LOVED…writing.
I struggle to write. I have several beautiful drafts sitting in my WordPress account. Most of them are real and raw and felt good to write, but not for an audience. I have so much to say that I want to share. And I have so much to say that needs said, but comes with a risk.
I have felt silenced. Much of what I have to say is not sunny.
I am really struggling with finding a positive energy for each day. I watched my husband bust his ass in our hay fields yesterday and noticed I was longing to be out there by his side. Sweating, baking in the sun, and just wringing out every last ounce of energy to stack those last bales. I miss that.
This morning I asked my husband if I could ride with him to pick up fertilizer, and he just looked at me.
“Can you be ready in 15 minutes?”
I ran upstairs threw on some old Nike running shorts (that used to fall off of me), an old t-shirt bought from a truck stop on my way home from Yale, and my old Sperrys. I threw my hair in a bun, and pulled out my newly trimmed side bangs and stared in the mirror at my tan make-upless face.
This is who I used to be (only thinner and buffer and much happier).
I got in the truck and the warmth of the old Duramax, the dust, and the wind coming in the windows with some FM radio took me to a place I miss so much.
I looked at my husband and said, “You know, my soul really died when I stopped doing construction.”
He was silent. This was not what he was looking for. Afterall he was probably excited to just get a ride away from the farm without me, but there I was.
“I even miss truck-rides twice a day, just blasting classic rock.”
Hell, I might even miss the way my Dad’s Camel Blues left a lingering scent on the interior of his truck. Because that scent meant I was nearby what I loved, my old job.
“You drive a truck now” Gary said.
“Yea but it’s empty and my old best friend, my Dad isn’t there.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for my current job, but there is no denying that offices are slowly killing me. They are killing most people, but most people have nothing else to compare them to.
At my current job, I wake up, complete my skin care regimen, slap on a face full of make-up, do my hair and begin my acting role.
I greet everyone with the traditional, American– “Hi, how are you?” though I expect no one to authentically answer.
Where I used to work– I rolled up as is. Spoke unfiltered. And worked at my own pace until the job was done. Gary likes to remind me of how lucky I was to know a job like that…but now it kind of seems like a curse– because nothing will ever be that good again.
Yet, with my back problems I find myself coming back to the idea that this transition all had to happen for a reason. But now I’m in recovery…which means I might recover my old mobility and strength. Where will that leave me?
Back surgery has been such a blessing, but is still one of the most difficult things for me to address. I started writing this post with the intent to address it, but found myself avoiding it by discussing something else.
My back problem that started over three years ago has completely changed me in so many ways. I went from being smiley, authentic, happy, uplifting to short tempered, fatigued, edgey and disappointed.
Everyday starts and ends with a list of things that do not get accomplished because I am unable to bend lift or twist (BLT). Everyday my husband comes and checks in with me and begins rattling off a list of things for me to do, that I CAN’T do. Every morning my son cries from his crib and my husband goes to get him. He changes him and then gets him ready to go to his Grandma’s for the day, because I can’t watch him.
The guilt and shame that I have let build up inside of me since April 15th is unbearable. So much so, that writing about it hurts. I have silenced myself. I continously tell myself that my surgery was successful and I am no longer in “pain”. But I am in so much of a different kind of pain. I waited my whole life to become a mother and this first year of Rhett’s life has been less than ideal for me and him.
I experienced 3rd degree tearing when I delivered Rhett and it took months for me to heal from that, at which point I returned to work. I also nursed him until he was too heavy to hold with my crippled back. At which point, I had to withdraw from other parenting activities because my lack of mobility did not allow me to be a Mom. Finally on April 15th I was able to obtain my surgery. Gary and I both discussed how I would finally be able to be a Mom again. But here it is almost July, and I am still hardly a mother and Rhett is almost a year old.
This is what it is really like over here. I won’t know until the first week of August if my surgery was actually successful. An X-ray will determine if my bone transplant successfully fused. Until then, I live in a gray place of ambiguity. Unsure of how I will process another low blow, if things do not pan out positively for us.